PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Fullback does more than block

Published 9:07 am Thursday, September 5, 2013

Full speed ahead: Keyshawn Jemison (11) rushed 21 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns against Chilton County last week.

Full speed ahead: Keyshawn Jemison (11) rushed 21 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns against Chilton County last week.

After falling behind 21-0, Jemison clawed back into its rivalry game against Chilton County High School last week by finding a rhythm with its power running game.

Running backs Keyshawn Jemison and John Underwood pounded CCHS to the tune of 216 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

JHS tied the game at 28-all at the end of regulation, but Panthers coach Jake Hogan admitted he got away from the ground attack in the first overtime period, trying a couple of playaction passes and throwing the ball high to star receiver Randy Satterfield.

While no one would fault Hogan for giving Satterfield a chance to make a play to win the game, the sure approach turned out to be going back to the running game.

Keyshawn Jemison strolled in from nine yards out in the second overtime to give JHS the victory.

Hogan said it was fitting that Keyshawn Jemison, The Clanton Advertiser’s Player of the Week, scored the winning touchdown.

Keyshawn Jemison toiled at fullback last season, where he suffered the bumps and bruises associated with blocking for speedier backs while not getting the glory that comes along with scoring touchdowns.

But this year Hogan told Jemison he would have to take on an expanded role. The coach told the player before last week’s game to expect to carry the ball 20 times. Jemison ended up with 21 carries, chewing up 141 yards and two touchdowns.

“I knew he would have to carry it a lot, but I was thinking maybe three yards and a cloud of dust, four yards and a cloud of dust,” Hogan said. “But he was hitting those cutbacks and had some long runs. That was a pleasant surprise to me.”

Hogan said Jemison’s offensive line also deserves credit for the rushing performance.

Joseph Hall and Brandon Stokes, who graded the highest among the linemen, helped pave the way for Jemison and Underwood.

“Offensive line was a question coming in, but those two guys weren’t a question,” Hogan said. “We knew that if we could find some guys, that those two would get them into position.

“We’ll be as good as they are on offense.”

Honorable mention

•DeRodgus Campbell, Isabella: Rushed for three touchdowns in a 35-6 win over Central-Coosa.

•Rashaud Caver, Billingsley: Rushed 13 times for 106 yards in a 20-14 win over Prattville Christian.

•Darius Davis, Thorsby: Accounted for four touchdowns—three rushing and one on a 70-yard pass—in a 34-19 victory at Verbena.

•Damian Mitchell, Maplesville: Returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown in a 59-7 win over Winterboro.

•Dorrian Parker, Verbena: Scored two rushing touchdowns in a 34-19 loss to Thorsby.

•Davre Williams, Chilton Co.: Caught three passes for 98 yards in a 34-28 loss to Jemison.